Have you ever heard of a manifest? Wondering why it’s important to declare a manifest? And when exactly should you do it? Don’t worry, all of these questions will be answered in this article.
What is a Manifest?
A manifest is a system for submitting a declaration of goods, related documents, and customs clearance for incoming or outgoing vessels. It is a dedicated system for customs declaration, used by shipping companies, carrier agents, and forwarders.
Once you have a booking, you must provide detailed information about the shipment to the shipping company for the master bill (MBL) or to the forwarder for the house bill (HBL). When the goods arrive at the port of receipt, the shipping company will notify the agent at the port of departure (A/N) and proceed to declare the specific details of the goods to customs, such as the name of the item, quantity, bill of lading number, shipper, consignee, departure date, and bill issuance date.
The information provided should match the details provided by the shipper to the shipping company. This process of declaring the information to customs is called manifesting. The shipping company manifests for the master bill, while the forwarder manifests for the house bill.
When the consignee arrives to collect the goods, customs will cross-check the information on the delivery order (D/O) with the manifest. Only if the information matches will customs release the goods.
Therefore, manifesting is crucial for consignees to receive their goods promptly and avoid additional costs due to issues with retrieving the goods.
Where and When to Declare a Manifest
You can declare a manifest directly on the Vietnamese National Single Window portal.
As for the timing, a manifest is usually declared 1 to 2 days before the vessel’s arrival. If the manifest deadline has passed and you want to make changes, there may be a fee for amending the manifest. For example, if the vessel has already departed, and the shipper wants to modify the information on the bill, they will have to pay a fee for amending both the bill and the manifest. Similarly, if a forwarder submits an inaccurate manifest but fails to make corrections before the deadline, they will incur a fee for amending the manifest.
How to Declare a Manifest for the House Bill
Step 1: Log in to the Vietnamese National Single Window portal.
Step 2: Fill in the information in the provided template file.
The required information includes:
- Year of registration
- Document function code: CN01
- Shipper’s information on the HBL
- Consignee’s tax identification number and information on the HBL
- Notified party information on the HBL
- Transshipment/transit port code (if applicable)
- Delivery port code
- Loading port code
- Discharge port code
- Delivery location: For loose cargo, use the cargo warehouse code; for container cargo, use the delivery port code
- Cargo type: CFS/CFS or FCL/FCL
- Bill of lading number (HBL)
- Bill issuance date (usually the vessel’s departure date)
- Original bill of lading number (MBL)
- Original bill issuance date
- Departure date (vessel’s departure date)
- Total number of packages
- Package type
- Gross weight
- Weight unit
- Product code (HS code)
- Description of goods (same as HBL)
- Total weight (gross weight)
- Container number
- Container seal number
Step 3: Access the Maritime Administration section in the Vietnamese National Single Window portal.
Step 4: Search for the desired shipment based on the file number.
Step 5: In the row of the desired shipment for manifesting, click on the “Electronic Declaration” column.
Step 6: The new interface will appear. Choose the “Consolidated Bill of Lading” tab, select the file, and then upload the excel file containing the information declared in step 2.
Step 7: Click on “Import” to proceed with the declaration and wait for the “update successful” notification.
Note: It is advisable to double-check the declared information for accuracy. Compare the uploaded information with the information on the bill of lading.
Procedure for Amending a Manifest
Step 1: Make the necessary amendments on the Vietnamese National Single Window portal. After amending the declaration according to the updated information, select the file number of the specific shipment and request the amendment.
Step 2: Prepare the following documents and present them to the Customs authorities to request acceptance of the amended manifest:
- Letter requesting manifest amendment
- Email from the agent or shipper requesting manifest amendment
- HBL of the shipment
- MBL of the shipment
Once the Customs authorities accept the amended manifest, consider the manifest amendment process complete. This will make it easier to collect the goods when they arrive.
Since the manifest amendment process can be time-consuming and requires effort, it is recommended to declare the manifest carefully to avoid the need for amendments and save on amendment costs.
That concludes our comprehensive guide on manifesting. We hope that through this article, you have gained a better understanding of what a manifest is, how to declare it, and how to avoid mistakes when manifesting.